December 1, 2013
November 15, 2013
Recently, I had a bit of a lightbulb moment. I sat down and made a list of things that I feel I need to give up, or step back from. I realized that the reason I find myself so overwhelmed lately is because I'm trying to do too much. Well, it seems that in some ways that is always the case…but what stood out to me was how when I took the time to write it down, much of that too much I've been trying to do has to do with the internet.
The thing is, I'm an introvert. I've always been an introvert. And I've recently been discovering that introversion has less to do with any perceived shyness, but more with where you gain energy. The ways you recharge. What you do to find peace and calm, to feel most like yourself. For me, that has always been time free of busyness and commitments and a full calendar.
For many years, I thought it was a bit of a flaw.
Why don't I love busy weekends? Shouldn't I be more excited when my planner is filled with fun adventures? Everyone else seems to do just fine.
Why do I get stressed out when there are more than two things I have to go and do within the span of a day? Sometimes when I wake up at the beginning of a day filled with activities, I'm already looking forward to coming home and curling up in bed. That can't be normal.
Why does living in the middle of the forest away from all civilization sometimes appeal to me more than anything else in the world? It makes me feel like a hermit, but I can't help it.
I know now that it's just me. It's who I am; it's woven into every piece of my personality. It's nothing I can change. Nor do I really want it to change, now that I'm able to look at it differently.
I'm a homebody, but I'm okay with that. I can easily strike up a conversation with strangers and as a teenager I danced and sang my heart out on stage in front of hundreds of people—I'm not shy, but I prefer quiet, and only like being the center of attention when it's on my own terms. I love get-togethers with close friends and simple outings with my daughter and husband, but if a day is free of any calm, commitment-free moments, I feel all tied in knots.
And when it comes to the internet—a place that used to be an introverts haven—I'm learning that it can overwhelm me in exactly the same ways "real life" does. With the explosion of social media and blogging for profit, the internet has become a hustling, bustling, noisy place. And that's not necessarily a bad thing…it's just worth noting that the whole landscape has changed so much in the past decade I've been blogging. While blogging used to be simply an outlet for my thoughts and other nonsense (and interactions with others were few and far between, always initiated by me), it is now a very different thing.
In some ways, things are better now, but I'm finally taking the time to acknowledge that in many ways it is such a terrible fit for my personality. So much of blogging is about self-promotion (which makes me so incredibly awkward most of the time, and I feel like such an annoyance). It can sometimes be all about social media, marketing, and doing more, more, more.
And you know what all those things have in common? Interactions. Many, many interactions with people. All day long. (Even if I just check social networks and email in the morning, during my daughter's nap, and before bed, that is still an overwhelming amount of socializing.) Twitter, Instagram, email, blogging, on and on. Is it any wonder I find myself so weary of it all when I do try to "keep up with the Joneses", so to speak? I don't think I ever could. I'm not good at what so many people are good at—which is okay, but hard to admit. Especially when I want to do it all. And I even think I could do it sometimes. But it just wouldn't be good for me.
For an introvert, socializing can be draining. When it comes down to it, the internet is all about socialization these days, no matter how you look at it. I absolutely love the internet, but I'm tired of always feeling like I'm at the end of my rope because of all the noise I'm adding to my day. There are sometimes a hundred tiny interactions I have with people throughout the day, and even when they're good things, happy conversations, encouraging words, beautiful photos, inspiring posts…it still drains me.
I don't like how it makes me feel, and how it sometimes doesn't leave much social energy to get through bigger and better things.
I know I'm not alone in this, and for that I am grateful. For a while, I thought I was just a dysfunctional sort of blogger, struggling with these things (especially when it comes to the desire to just go "off the grid" to get away from it all some days).
I've wanted to do more with my blog for a while now, and I've taken steps here and there to do just that. But now? I'm realizing that I could probably never be as fancy as I'd like to be. I need the luxury of stepping away when I need to. I need to be able to disappear from a social network without having to worry about what it will do to my stats or online presence.
I struggle a lot when I know I'm capable of doing something great, but doing it wouldn't be great for me. It feels like a tease. And although I've taken great care in my life to be aware of what I'm meant for, it makes me ask, "But why can't I be meant for that?" I hate when saying no to something gives me that uncomfortable feeling of selling myself short, even when that isn't the reality.
This has been on my heart for the past few days, and it feels good to put into (somewhat scattered) words, at least. I've decided to take a blogging break in December, so I can reevaluate a few things around here. I'm dealing with a bit of tug-of-war within myself…having so much to share, knowing I'm capable of great things…but learning that if it feels like more of a fight than a pleasure, then maybe it's not worth it.
November 8, 2013
The giveaway is now CLOSED—and I'd like to congratulate the winner: Lindsey of Hey Smalls! As always, the winner was chosen through a random number generator, so all's fair in love and blog giveaways. Or something like that. I don't even know. I've eaten too many cookies today. ANYWAY, congratulations to Lindsey, and I hope you enjoy learning to crochet with this awesome book!